The violence in South Africa in the third week of June has been followed by extensive labour unrest.
GVs AND SVs EXTERIOR: Workers outside Goodyear Factory, Uitenhage (4 shots)
GV: Workers off to attend meeting, GV workers enter courtyard at rear of building (2 shots)
GV: Meeting in progress
SV PULL BACK TO GV EXTERIOR: Main gate of Volkswagen plant
SV: Car arriving at gate
SV: Riot police watching, inside factory grounds
GV PAN AND GV: Workers entering gate, GV meeting in progress (3 shots)
GV PAN: Speaker addresses meeting through megaphone
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The violence in South Africa in the third week of June has been followed by extensive labour unrest. The motor industry in eastern Cape Province has been worst affected, with about five thousand black and coloured (mixed race) workers on strike.
SYNOPSIS: The trouble has been centred on Uitenhage, an industrial town near Port Elizabeth. At the Goodyear factory, nearly all the 1,350 workers are on strike. They are demanding a minimum wage of three rand (3.50 U.S. dollars) an hour, which would more than double their present rate. The company has refused to pay this.
Mass meetings on Monday (23 June) were orderly; but police used tear gas and dogs to disperse about 800 strikers at the same plant two days later. The workers involved were dismissed after the clash; but a company spokesman said they were free to re-apply for employment.
Volkswagen, South Africa's largest car manufacturer, also has a factory at Uitenhage. About 3,500 workers -- three quarters of the labour force -- are on strike. They have been demanding a minimum of two rand (2.40 dollars) an hour. The company has offered them 1.40 rand (1.70 dollars), an increase of rather more than 20 per cent. The strikers have agreed to consider the offer.
Ford and General Motors, whose workers are not on strike, have made the same offer as Volkswagen. But reports say that the workers there have threatened to come out next month unless they get a minimum 2 rand an hour.